Filipino Good Samaritans offering free food in Dubai.
PHOTO BY MANUEL VIZCARRA/FEBY BAGUISA
DUBAI – Covid-19 may have put a damper on everyone’s mood and finances, but Filipino “street heroes” spotted offering free food in Dubai’s Muraqqabat area warmed hearts and stomachs on Tuesday (May 26).
Manuel Vizcarra, 33, was passing by the area when he spotted three of these Filipinos on the sidewalk. They carried with them a trolley of packed food and two cardboard signs that said “FREE FOOD FOR EVERYONE”.
“They amazed me for spreading their blessings and helping people who are in need in time of crisis,” Vizcarra told Expatmedia.net, adding they were true heroes on the streets.
The Dubai-based waiter couldn’t help but take a snapshot of the inspiring scene, saying that if he had the means, “I will do the same. It is such a good feeling to help people”.
One of the Good Samaritans has been identified by beneficiaries as Feby Baguisa, a housewife with three children who has made it her mission to help those in need of food during the crisis.
A self-confessed “chef by heart”, Baguisa has been making and packing home cooked meals to distribute to the needy. She has been able to extend her community outreach with the help of other Filipinos who donated ingredients.
Baguisa, who hails from Laguna province in the Philippines, said even though she had no work, it won’t stop her from helping others in her community outreach.
Speaking to Expatmedia.net, Baguisa said she only has one wish: “I hope we can help everyone who has sent us messages and I hope we will soon see an end to all these hardships due to the pandemic.”
Moved by the number of people who lost their livelihood or are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic, Filipinos in the UAE have gone on solo missions to share what they can with those who don’t know where their next meal is going to come from.
As Expatmedia.net first reported in April, a Filipina in Abu Dhabi doled out bags of rice and food stuff to dozens of people left jobless in the capital.
Jennifer Paredes, 36, started her solo mission with 10 bags of Jasmine rice, 6 trays of eggs and 30 pieces of canned sardines that she bought with Dh400 from her own pocket and gave away to those who responded to her Facebook offer for help.
Speaking to Expatmedia.net, the 36-year-old travel agency owner was at first shy to share her story, adding it was just a small gesture from her side.
“I just can’t imagine the situation now, with a lot of people who lost their job or were forced to go on leave without pay due to this pandemic. What if I were in their shoes? Who will help me? I put myself in their shoes, and that’s why I wanted to help,” she said.
More Filipinos have come out on social media to share what they have to the needy in their area—from Al Ain to Dubai.
The Filipino bayanihan spirit shone bright as expatriates dug into their own pockets to give food to jobless or financially struggling compatriots amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bayanihan is a Filipino culture of “community spirit” where Filipinos extend help without expecting anything in return.
Speaking to Expatmedia.net, Meler Paglinawan, a safety inspector consultant based in Abu Dhabi, said he and his friends from Pinoy Mustang, Kabayan Movers and Al Ahalia Papawis social groups have pooled around Dh1,000 from their own pockets to buy grocery items that they have distributed to Filipinos whose employment was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s not just people getting help. Even abandoned animals received some love, too.
Jonathan Corporal Sibol, a 31-year-old animal sitter in Abu Dhabi, has been doing the rounds feeding around 200 stray cats in his neighbourhood. He is able to buy cat food with the help of friends.
“Let us support each other to win this crisis. This means leaving nobody behind—including animals,” Sibol told Expatmedia.net. PIA/ICA/Expat Media
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